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October 29, 2006



Canned applause over the opening credits has been an SNL staple for decades. They also use it over the closing credits (easy to spot - on the audience shots no one is applauding, yet you hear applause).

I'm not aware of them "sweetening" audience response during the show except for one episode that was taped very late at night and a lot of the live audience had gone home (the night of Game 6 of the 86 Mets/Red Sox Series which ran unexpectedly long). That show did not air live, but did air a week later giving them time to sweeten it.


They have several separate audio feeds that can be put on the air. One is from the audience and that one was turned down.


This isn't the first time they've used canned applause. They've been doing it all season long.


Now that SNL sucks they need canned laughter.

Andrew Lenahan

It seems to me that the audience might have been still clapping after they were supposed to stop, so they faded out the mics in the audience section so Laurie could start his monologue.

I guess the canned-applause theory is possible, but I don't see why they'd use it at the start, when everyone is going to be applauding like crazy anyway. If they were going to do something like that, canned laughter during the sketches would make more sense.


What laughter? I barely hear anyone laughing on that show anymore.

Kerry Cares

I blame Bush.

Lorne Michaels

I can't even get an erection anymore, let alone laughs or applause.


Any way we could get a clip of Beck where the band is playing the table setting? If you know what I mean, the song Clap Hands. I can't find The SNL version anywhere, that was great!


NOW that SNL sucks? They've sucked for years!


While I wouldn't be surprised if SNL is doing this, the audio effects could also be from poor mixing of the audience mics. If the feed from the audience mics was suddenly dropped, allowed to go a few more seconds, then faded entirely, you could get this same effect.

No conspiracy here - most of the applause is still genuine, unlike most sitcoms.


Saturday Night Live: three lies for the price of one.

Chris W

I noticed the SAME thing on Sat! Luckily I had it DVRed, so I reviewed it over & over. This was canned laughter; no doubt in my mind. How pathetic.

The ONLY two good things about that show were Borat (even though he was doing the same material he's been doing to promote his movie) and Beck (especially that second number).

SNL has been declining slowly for a few years, but this year there is a SIGNIFICANTLY larger drop in quality.


That's 100% canned. He obviously doesn't even hear it, he talks over it smoothly. And as they turn it down, it's clear that the "crowd" is still going full-tilt. How sad. Sounds like a new plot for Studio 60.


It has to be canned laughter cuz I dont laugh more then 3 times per episode.


It sounds to me like a combination of the live audio feed and the delayed audio feed. You can hear the same distinctive audience sounds. Given that all 'live' television runs on a delay (Thank you Janet Jackson), it wouldn't surprise me if someone nudged the wrong fader on the mixing board.

Future Me

The extra applause was due to doppelgangers.


wwfmike is right. I think it's the delay thingee. Or not.

SNL used to be funny. Now it's just a reality show that no one watches...


or that might be leviathant. No matter.


There were at least two other big technical screwups in the first 30 minutes of the show (Borat intro, premature Fox graphic) - So, who knows? It could have been the delay getting potted up accidentally, or some attempt at sweetening that somebody messed up. For whatever reason, somebody messed up.

But, it doesn't matter, because the whole show is messed up.

I hadn't watched an entire SNL in almost 10 years. The last time was when Seinfeld hosted so that was, what, '98? I watched the Hugh Laurie ep only because he was on, and it was so, so bad. The writers should be ashamed of themselves. That's what they get paid to do. They get paid a lot more than regular people at regular jobs, and it's like they don't even try.

You'd think with competition from the net, they would at least try a little. I could have laughed more and had a better time if I'd spent those 90 minutes on Youtube watching clips people made at their houses on their cameraphones. At least those have endings.

And, they're a lot shorter.

Jack Brackitt

At the exact moment that the show goes on the air there is "sweetening." Right before the first sketch you will hear a little 'heh heh' audience twitter. But, I suggest that it's too good to be the real audience.

Johnny Chicago

SNL has sucked BIG cocks for YEARS.

If you still watch, you're secretly gay.

If you think it's funny, you're gay - period.

If you care about my comments - you're retarded.

Either way, Lorne Michaels and his WASP-y drones, and YOU, the Nazi-youth audience, have stopped being relevant for over 20 years... and, of course, fuck you if you still care about this subject - or my comments.


Wow -- I smell Nobel in your future.

You have way too much free time on your hands.


Dumbest fucking assumption EVER. The FAKE sound you're hearing is the REAL audience; however, what makes it fake sounding is the fact that the directors and producers cut off the audience mic's abruptly to ensure the host's voice could be heard. They are limited on time so they can fit in commercials....so they have to limit audience ambience to only a certain extent. That's all this is. For you to question it only makes you an idiot. No offense..I don't hardly watch TV anymore. But it's still blatantly obvious to me!


Does anybody actually watch SNL anymore? Seriously, I can't believe anybody watches SNL on TV, let alone goes through the nuisance of actually attending a show in person. They use canned laughter because the studio is empty, right?

On a side note, who the hell pays for advertising during a show with no audience?

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